I’m Alive… Really, I just was hiding in lab…

I realize that I haven’t been written for Skepchick since promising to provide more tidbits from my expedition last summer to the Indian Ocean, so I’m writing to let everyone know I’m alive and was just hiding in lab. I spent the last two months working 12-hour days (including most weekends) collecting data from MIT before moving to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for the rest of my graduate career. During the past week, I obtained the last of my MIT data, moved to a new apartment, officially switched thesis advisors, booked airline tickets for my summer travels, handed in my final papers for this semester, and spent 9 hours on the bus between Boston and Woods Hole.

I’ve now officially survived a *very* tough couple of semesters, and I’m looking forward to a wonderful summer. I’ll still be busy until I (Newton willing!) pass my general exam in September, but at least I’ll be able to take time off to do some sea kayaking (out my front door!) and be able to work from home a large amount when I’m writing. And, of course, I plan to spend some time writing for Skepchick!

I will still be very busy over the summer, but I can at least promise you “Notes from the Field” for my upcoming summer travels to Costa Rica (to climb some active volcanoes! yay!), to Vancouver for a geochemistry conference, and to South Africa (again!). I’ll also try to write up some more pieces about life as a graduate student, about Woods Hole Oceanographic, and about random science musings. Stay tuned!


Evelyn is a geologist, writer, traveler, and skeptic residing in Cape Town, South Africa with frequent trips back to the US for work. She has two adorable cats; enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking; and has a very large rock collection. You can follow her on twitter @GeoEvelyn. She also writes a geology blog called Georneys.

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  1. Your reports from the sea – complete with pirates! – were very interesting. I honestly have been wondering what ever happened to you, but my assumptions were correct; you were busy with yer edumucation.

    Tina: I think it just takes lots of ambition and hard work, … and of course prayer. That’s their real “Secret.” ;)

  2. Hard work and dedication seems to be a trend in how most people with cool and/or interesting lives get there… I just hope I never get conned into actually trying to answer that sort of thing about myself, because it makes about as much sense as Big Trouble in Little China… At the time, it all seemed to make sense, more or less, but at the end, you’re like “WTF??? How did we get to this? “

  3. ‘…it makes about as much sense as Big Trouble in Little China… At the time, it all seemed to make sense, more or less, but at the end, you’re like “WTF??? How did we get to this?”‘

    Yeah, I now what you mean– Only in my case, it’s gotten me unemployed in my early forties, and no fr*ggin’ jobs available unless I’m willing to sell questionable financial services to those who neither need them, nor can afford them.

  4. 12 hours a day? And on weekends? There’s no way I could do that any more. I don’t even like working more than 4-6 hours at my day job. Of course Mr. WriterDD says that I am working all the time, but when I’m writing and working on my own projects, it doesn’t seem like work to me.

  5. Evy, great to see you’re still breathing! I’m totally coming out to the Cape for a visit. I hope you can at least get outside today, it’s gorgeous!

    Tina, that’s a very good question. Maybe we can have a series of responses from the various Skepchicks . . .

  6. Evelyn, I love reading about your adventures! What a thrilling life you lead! I mean, climbing active volcano’s? How wicked is that?

  7. Evelyn, you didn’t mention TAM, so I guess it’s a no go for that?

    Keep up the good work, and report back when you can.

  8. Tina, I think I was just lucky enough to have parents who said, “Okay, honey” when I told them I wanted to travel the world and study volcanoes. Dad encouraged me to take plenty of math and science growing up, and both my parents were very supportive (financially and emotionally) when it came time to go to college. My career as a volcanologist and geochemist really started the summer after my first year of college (not that long ago, really…) when I landed a summer internship in a geochemistry lab and finagled a way to go to Hawaii for a week to collect samples. In the fall of my second year of college, I found a job washing dishes and cleaning filaments in a geochemistry lab. I ended up working in this lab for three years. I did drudge work for several months, but worked my way up to designing and carrying out a senior thesis project. I applied to grad schools (on a long shot, I thought…) and ended up at Woods Hole / MIT. I’m now in my second year. I work hard in classes and in lab much of the year, but I also have wonderful opportunities to travel.

    Peter, no TAM for me this year. I could go that weekend, but I’m traveling so much this summer I’m trying to limit any more time away… since there are papers to write!

  9. “to Vancouver for a geochemistry conference”

    Hi Evelyn. I’m one of the organizers of the Vancouver Skeptics in the Pub. Maybe we can arrange for one of our events to coincide with your visit. Would you be interested in meeting our local skeptics?

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